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Jonathan had always been a humble child, he rarely asked for more and truly enjoyed the things he had. This is his testimony. The summer of 2004 at age 7, Jonathan was showing signs of a sinus infection. With being absent from school for nearly 3 weeks, he’d sleep almost 18 hours, his appetite became nonexistent, and antibiotics weren’t working. We took him to the Emergency Room for a severe headache, and it was there that my husband demanded an MRI, even though at the time his diagnosis was a sinus infection. The results showed a mass in the sinus and we were asked to see a Specialist. While visiting with the Ear, Nose, and Throat Doctor or ENT he began bleeding severely and had to be rushed to the nearest hospital. A biopsy was done and his nose was packed with 6 feet of gauze to stop the bleeding. On May 20th 2004, what felt like the worse day of our lives. Jonathan was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma (bone cancer) of the left nasal cavity. The reaction to those words (cancer) haunt you, and to see the fear in your child’s face is more then a parent can bare. During that time the tumor was about the size of a large lemon and began to push up to the brain, behind the left eye and behind the nose towards the right side. Jonathan had undergone 11 rounds of intense chemotherapy. The treatment demanded us to go to the clinic every day for up to 8 hours a day, 5 days a week back to back. And after 2 weeks he would be admitted into the hospital for10 days. There he would receive 1-2 bags of donated blood, to help rebuild his immune system. Because of that, there was always the risk of infection. Then it was back to the clinic again for more chemotherapy. During that time he had lost so much weight and almost gave up his fight. A feeding tube was placed into his stomach where he was fed with liquid meal supplements to help him gain weight. Jonathan had a great support team and he quickly began to fight and fight even harder. And on December 3, the tumor had shrunk enough that the Doctors were able to go through the nose microscopically and remove the tumor. Originally the plan was to go through the top of the head cutting him from ear to ear. That procedure would have required him to be placed into a coma for 1-2 weeks as he healed. Once removed, he began 5 weeks of radiation every day. This entailed him to have a special face mask to ensure that the beams were given precisely while he laid on a table snapped into place. The procedure took about 15 minutes, and then we headed back to the clinic. Both parents were blessed to be with him every day. His brother DJ, also spent most of the time with his brother. Dave works for a very understanding company and I had quit my part-time job to care for Jonathan exclusively. But we also had family members, friends, and great organizations like Cops Fighting Cancer who came to visit all of the time.
The clinic and surrounding Physicians were about 45 minutes from home, so it definitely made up for a busy day, especially for a child. But all his treatments were outpatient , and this gave Jonathan the opportunity to continue to live at home and see his familiar surroundings.
On April 12th, 2005, Jonathan made it through chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. Almost a year of fight, fight, and constant Faith. We were happy to report that his EKG, Chest CT, and MRI of the head showed no signs of disease or damage and there was no sign of bone growth issues. And during this time Jonathan had a home tutor and she would came over 1 hour per day. He was scheduled to return to public school the first of May, but once Jonathan got the clear bill of health he couldn’t wait any longer. So he went back to school on April 18th and finished the school year with his classmates. This just showed how strong he was. I knew he would be alright, and needed to catch up on the life he had missed for almost a year.
Unfortunately about a month later severe leg pain began, and the diagnosis was ,”cancer”. The disease never left his little body, and this time it was stronger than ever and out of control. Jonathan was back in the clinic and treatments began . The cancer became too much for him and on October 31,2005 while at home, Jonathan Freeman died at age 9.
The family had endured so much, but during all of this we found God. We learned to handle each hurdle and do it together. Jonathan’s life will always be remembered, his smile, love for life and family, passion for the Military, Faith, and belief that he truly would never leave us after he went home to be with Christ. His life, though short, was very powerful.
There are so many children fighting this life threatening disease. And with Organizations like “Cops Fighting Cancer” these children are able to do the things that kids like to do, just be kids. Officer Seneca and his team provide assistance to help relieve the financial burden that illnesses like cancer can bring. Many people don’t realize that this can be, a wig for a teen girl, a wheel chair, food on the table for months. This can also help the family keep their home or car. The organization can also provide memories that families normally couldn’t fulfill like, meeting a National Football Team or other major sport, receiving a pampered day at the Circus or another event. These are just a few things that families need or would like to enjoy. But in order to make all of these things possible, they need sponsors, donations, and volunteers. And many families have helped give back and Jonathan’s legacy lives on. Cops Fighting Cancer now awards their boxers the “Jonathan Freeman Trophy”, to the winner of their yearly Boxing Event was created to help raise money for families. Thank you everyone for all of your love and support.